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when I saw the thread title.
not surprising, but quite sad really
It shows scope to change people's minds. If people were basing their hatred of immigrants and poor people on the actual statistics, that would be a lot more sad.
it was a more a general malaise that people eat up any old shit they get lied to about by the spectacle. not really sure how that is a positive thing?
One one side it means that all those nobhead interests are succeeding in misleading the public on all these issues to justify their immoral actions.
But on the other hand people are cunts and of course they think things are worse/more extreme than they are because it gives them a scapegoat when things aren't perfect.
that it's just totally unsurprising that we're in this situation when the majority of information sources most available to (or at least used by) the public are led by their own agenda.
Fairly sure it's bad but you can't be sure these days.
Worth noting that people often go in the other direction when it comes to their local area - people tend to think that their area is alright, and it's everywhere else that's dragging things down.
things like these town specific facebook groups (my cousin runs the mansfield one which is a sight for sore eyes) just seem to end up being lists of petty crimes and people saying 'it wasnt like this 20-30 years ago'.
to me it makes sense that as people are exposed to more news (for want of a better term) then people think its happening more than it used to be. (as a very basic example, if you lived in a medium sized town you probably wouldn't hear about a few cars being keyed or broken into on the other side of town 20-30 years back but now you read it on social media).
but it's a phenomena frequently cited by the guy on www.ukpollingreport.co.uk
Jordan's argument about exposure to news is a good example of the 'availability heuristic'; we think somethings are more common if we can easily think of examples, even though the examples are likely to be dramatic/unusual events.
'British people far more right-wing than reality.' the consequence of 30 years of fear, paranoia, envy and shit-stirring by most of the press, every single day. can't discount the cowardice and general uselessness of Labour in this either.
dropping some serious truth bombs lately, mate.
People - and the press - were right wing before then too. And really racist.
It's far easier to dismiss labour as cowardly than to support those trying to claw back their party from blairites.
but since around then you had the slow death of post-war settlement and it being replaced by shallow aspirational consumerism
i was thinking about this w/r/t that awful looking BBC show about benefit claimants, how in the clip she totally fixates on how he has a MacBook AND an iMac and an iPhone 5 and loads of shoes. How did that become the key measure of success in our lives?
'Longest suicide note in history' etc.
Do people really want Ed Miliband to be Michael Foot?
1983 was a turning point. landslide Thatcher win (due to the Falklands), their first move is £500 million worth of cuts and the first privatisations within the NHS under the guise of saving money, Kinnock takes leadership of Labour, SDP goes into alliance with Liberals (these last two steps forming a direct extended skid-mark towards Blairism), Murdoch takes majority share of Satellite Television. the rot sets in.
you're right that people and press were right-wing before then but this was the start of the centre-ground of British political discourse being deliberately shifted right, by the papers primarily. and it kept heading that way. before long someone like Blair could be portrayed as centre-left and Cameron a centrist and the dismantling of the welfare state and flogging off of the NHS being portrayed as modernisation (everything else has been sold off and as the railways demonstrate it's a barrel of laughs). hence the shitsville we're now living in.
I don't have a dog in this fight but if Miliband claws Labour back, fair play. problem he's training his sights on the unions (you know those bastards who bankrupted the country) as we speak so i wouldn't hold your breath.
I think all he's done is deal with a pretty unavoidable situation. What exactly do you fear he will do to the unions? Cause the ony outcome I can see is the status quo or some limitation on the power that a few powerful people in a few trade unions have. Unite shouldn't be able to stitch up a selection process so something's wrong already.
I hold my breath because I have a fairly simple outlook: what would labour do if they won the next general election? For a start, they will scrap the 'flogging off' of the NHS that you mentioned. If its all a bit too much of a compromise for you though, enjoy another Thatcherite government at Reading.
in a choice between the parties, Labour are immeasurably preferable but that isn't saying much. Miliband and Balls have both said they wont reverse Tory welfare cuts, remember they're chasing the votes of those in that survey. they'd cut the Unions loose if they'd an old boys network to rely on. the NHS is already being privatised and it will be extremely difficult for Miliband to do anything other than apply the brakes to a runaway train especially when Blue Labour and Progress elements within his own cabinet are in favour of it (some of them helped introduce it with the Trojan Horse of PFI). what you're likely to get is a slow-motion version of where the Tories are heading, the same track but with the brakes screeching, slower than the Blairites want it definitely but still the same track. there's no doubt Labour's preferable to the spiv bastards in power now but I've seen the whole 'modernise' to get into power trick before and it doesn't end well. let's hope i'm wrong.
Miliband and Balls have both said they wont reverse Tory welfare cuts' - this isn't strictly true. They've committed to the spending plan up to 2016. But they've made very few specific pledges about which cuts they'd keep other than 'child benefit for wealthy people' which also doesn't preclude them remodelling it slightly to take account of combined income. They're going to make winter fuel payment means based (isn't this good? No more tax breaks for millionaires yay).
They've said they're going to slash housing benefit spending not by capping it for recipients but by building more social housing and giving councils the power to control rents. They're going to save on in work benefits not by cutting them but by making more employers pay a living wage so that fewer people need them.
On the NHS, here is a good example of Labour's health policy http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/01/25/the-hugely-significant-speech-by-burnham-yesterday-that-the-media-ignored - they'd end the marketisation (the really bad part).
I wouldn't be too paranoid about blue labour, it isn't really a thing. They're pretty set on that 'one nation' thing though.
PFI was introduced under John Major.
If it is not too much of a ballache, would you mind explaining a bit more about it? - is it just a case of the least worst generals to continue leading us down a path of increasing social inequality? or do you think there is genuine hope for opposition, in the real sense?
I ask because in the last 2 years, I have gone from being an active party member, with designs on becoming a candidate at some point, to totally disillusioned/disgusted with the party ...
I even liked and backed Ed. :(
We've heard so little dissent from the PLP during his tenure. Even in the past few days, although he's been jn a situation where there is no good outcome (particularly from a PR point of view), he has taken decisive action. In my view its the right action. To shy away from a problem just because its our friends and donors who seem to be at fault, would be weak leadership. Ed knew full and well what the reaction from the self-proclaimed left was going to be, but he did it anyway. I don't think he caved to Tory pressure either. He's shown genuinely strong leadership and faced a difficult issue with tact.
There is genuine hope because I think Ed Miliband is genuinely principled; something I couldn't say for his brother. If he can lead Labour to a victory, he is going to do good things with little money. I think he's from a different cadre than what we've had in recent years. The party's had time to adjust to that but I am yet to feel at any point that we made the wrong decision.
I'd stick by the party through far tougher times than this because that's how I believe politics should be.
I'm in broad agreement with you about Ed, I wrote something similar a few months ago if you are interested:
What I don't really understand though, is the kernel of what you are saying, 'this is how i believe politics to be' ...what does this mean to you? I have lost it somewhere along the way I think
is there no space at all for a genuine reshaping of the way we do things in the UK rather than tinkering around the edges?
Or that we allow to slip into electoral oblivion? The article you linked to doesn't sound like someone who is disillusioned with the party, at all. Why give up so easily? We need people like you more than ever.
When I say this is how politics should be I mean that it requires a degree of loyalty. I don't ever use the word 'comrade' seriously but I believe in it. My granda's funeral had a wreath from the Labour Party, something that kinda reminds me that we look after each other. I consider everyone who supports the Labour Party someone worth hearing out and sticking up for. This isn't unflinching devotion, just an acute awareness that in the final analysis we're all on the same side. I think the right thing to do is pick the party which best reflects your values and to support it in upholding those values at every step along the way.
And I agree with it in the most part, especially the deep seated connection element (I am named after the founder of the Labour Party)
I suppose what killed it for me was being a member of the future candidates programme for a year or so at the same time as my work started to be much more heavily Westminster based ... The sudden shock at the degree of cynicism and careerism across the board was utterly dispiriting , as have been the sheer number of times I have been disheartened by our attempts at opposition.
I am still a supporter, a member and an arch believer in certain core vaules that I hope we can return to a more central position in British politics.
Crisis of belief I guess.
there is a distinct failure to give credit to ed/labour where it is due.
He doesn't seem to actually lead either, just sort of react to stuff in a way least likely to show an opinion. Maybe Labour need to concentrate on being an opposition rather than winning the next election.
As with every interview of a politician, he has just been briefed with those lines and told not to deviate by his communications manager. You can tell from the tone of the journalist that this interview was to give the impression that it would be a cut&paste job and never broadcast as a full interview. Clearly the producers decided they were on to a gem when all of his answers were almost identical, in syntax and tone. He's no anomaly in dealing with an interview like that, he just should have used more rhetorical devices and variation. "Look, let's be clear" "what I've said is" "we have no hesitation" "I think I've made my position on this clear but let me say it once again" etc.
Literally all you can fault him on is an unhoned and unconvincing delivery.
But actually the reason they could use it is that it's a terrible example of a spin-led reaction to the news that does nothing to make you feel like you should have any faith in Ed. Laying aside the fact that he should be fucking well taking an actual position instead of saying, "Yes, well, if you like unions you should vote for me but if you don't like unions I'm not really 100% with them as you see, so you should also vote for me".
And like you say, he shouldn't have repeated it, he should have said I already made my position clear, to each subsequent question. Instead he stuck rigidly to a script that makes you doubt the man has any bloody self-determination.
What do you expect him to say?
When you hear a sound bite from David Cameron, do you think it will always be from one take?
One thing I would fault him on his failure to surround him to himself with sufficient experience and expertise, although that's not his fault entirely and a lot to do with the lack of loyalty demonstrated by those who would have allowed David Miliband to linger around as a pretender to the leadership. His communications technique has improved markedly since that interview too.
I have no faith in him whatsoever. I've not had the slightest sense he's proper Labour and that's basically the same as useless.
Naturally I'll be voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the next election (assuming nothing happens to remove him) but I'm lucky enough to have a proper Labour candidate to vote for.
Breaking from the recent past and fostering an entirely new outlook amongst senior labour politicians and advisors. Finding out whose loyalty he can depend on. Basically New Labour isn't quite dead yet. He doesn't pretend to be someone he's not and I really admire that.
Btw is Tony Blair more 'proper labour'? David Miliband maybe? I don't really get what you want to see from Ed to win your support.
I want him to seem like he's actually got some policies rather than just treading water until he's sure it's too close to the election for the party to risk ousting him. Right now I don't feel like he really cares a great deal about what's happening.
I cannot fathom /that level/ of loyalty to a political party. It knocks me for six every time I'm confronted with it. And I'm depressed and energised by it in equal measure.
I'm a member of the Labour Party, but I can't imagine holding that allegiance for life. I might do - who knows. If the party no longer sufficiently represents my political sympathies to the point where I'll not want to fund them then... y'know. No point in sticking with them out of loyalty. Even if loyalty is something I treasure above almost all else.
Strange one, ennit.
Loyalty is one thing.
But when it manifests itself in the 'stick a red rosette on a donkey and it'll still get voted in' type of way, it surely can't be a healthy state of affairs.
but I believe in the possibility of a political movement to bring about a society not entirely ruled by private interests, which prioritises helping the most genuinely disadvantaged (where we measure education by how possible it is for the poorest children to become the most educated adults. Or health by how possible it is for someone in the most deprived neighbourhood to outlive someone in the wealthiest). It's that belief that I'm loyal to more than anything. I know that I may represent a more idealistic view than the majority of the Labour Party but as long as its a pluralistic, discursive and accesaible organisation, its the place for me.
FYI, if I thought independence was the best way to achieve this sort of society - on either side of the border - I'd be with you. But I think the most equitable, sustainable and fair thing to do is to set our sights on making the whole of the UK (including the north of England, Wales and Northern Ireland who don't vote Tory and dont seek their current fate) both a better place to live and a state capable of making the world more equal.
I guess I just don't believe it's in any way possible under the current Westminster setup, or that there's any likelihood of that ever changing in any reasonable time frame.
Putting Wales and Northern Ireland aside for a mo (as they're not quite comparable to The North)... the theme of 'abandonment' of English Labour voters crops up every now and then. And one of the responses (put forward fairly stridently by Billy Bragg, no less, amongst others) is the notion of a recalibration/rebalancing of English politics in the event of Scotland not being part of the Westminster scene (hopefully to the benefit of Labour, basically). Any thoughts on the credibility, or otherwise, of that line of thought?
The UK post-Scottish independence would see a radical shakeup of the electoral battleground. Without the near guarantee of Scottish seats, Labour would be forced to refocus its efforts in the south (which would be all the more decisive). As a friend of mine said, it would play straight into the hands of the right wing of the party.
Although I guess it could be said that, with a mentality that thinks in terms of "the near guarantee of Scottish seats", the damage is already done.
Certain seats are safe, it's just a fact. But at the moment the party still has to connect with voters in Scotland to get the turnout. Without that broad brush approach to election planning, it's gonna be all about bloody middle England.
specifically the fear that Labour were open to being controlled by the USSR and could turn us into Communists. I can't personally vouch for any of that but, for example, Frederick Forsyth certainly believed it if you read his book The Fourth Protocol. We all lived in fear of nuclear war then, and I'm sure that also swayed voters.
since a lot of people did believe labour would unilaterally disarm the UK. Actually they would have probably ended the Cold War sooner (and probably apartheid). They would have lost it anyway though.
One thing Ed has done to follow in Footsteps is go after Murdoch. The media hate Ed Miliband and I can see that affecting the opinions of reasonable, left-leaning people. Freedom of the press haha.
I get at least one person a week at work moaning on about immigrants getting a free car
I'm guessing it's in the BNP leaflets or something
more cars, more petrol sales
they're fucking horrible
why do you think people think these things?
Generally all the emphasis tends to be on how awful the right-wing press are but that ignores the fact that there are few people on the left with the ability and fight to stand up to them.
I'll never forget the televisual car crash that was the guy from 38 degrees vs Kay Burley after the last election. Everyone focuses on how terrible Kay Burley's questions were, which they were of course as she's an idiot who doesn't understand things properly. Few people paid attention to the fact that 38 degrees had allowed them to be represented by an embarrassingly gutless spineless pathetic specimen of a human being who was utterly lacking in the ability to stand up for what he believed in. Frankly he gave the impression of someone who had no idea what the fuck his political convictions were, let alone how to withstand them under scrutiny.
I'm not suggesting the left play dirty but I am suggesting that it'd be better for all of us if they accepted that the concept of PR, however distasteful, is sadly unnecessary.
What a flawed study and, subsequently, analysis. D'you know what? Most people are wrong about most things. Not because of hideous right-wing press agendas but because people have an undying penchant to have strong opinions on stuff that they don't really know a great deal about. Always have, always will.
My Dad always bangs on about the popular press now being nowhere near as reactionary and right wing as it used to be. All it does is reflect the prejudices that exist within its audiences. The unquestioning idiot existed before the press did. The two suit each other very well indeed.
Believe it or not - a lot of people on here have a lot of strong opinions on stuff they no very little about the realities of. Wonder if the Independent will poll and, subsequently, humiliate all of us... `LOL 95% of people on DiS think Thatcher cut NHS spending by BILLIONS when in reality net NHS spending didn't go down at all when she was in office*`. etc. etc. etc.
* - citation needed, obviously.
Theres a lot of mouth frothing in regards to it as expected, but this poll is all but worthless and both presented in a manner that is full of assumptions (eg everyone thinks international aid spending is too high) and formed of a suspect line of questioning (mixing 'as it is' with trends, presumably to manipulate the results)
interesting that in a thread where people are highlighting how manipulation by the media can influence opinion that people are taking the study as gospel. its the same no matter what the subject; people will believe what they want to believe and find things to enforce them without questioning them.
Ronaldon't want to come home we hope.
I know it's 0.7% of GDP because I read it in the newspaper. I don't know what GDP is though, so I don't know. Although the Independent is saying it's 1.1%. Small beer. Except when you factor in the 0.4% difference between the 2 figures is likely to be BILLIONS of pounds. Am I wrong? Is the Independent wrong? Who knows...
Plenty of people on facebook this morning braying at how stupid the general public are as a result of this, without keeping their own prejudices in check.
but yes you're absolutely right. and as DanielKelly and others have said, its natural to think things are worse than they are, and due to the growing increase of social media think that things are getting worse.
Natural is a pretty loaded term. There are certain things people seem to be predisposed to think very highly of- themselves and their opinions foremost.
It's not necessarily what anyone here has done but I don't think there's much value in decrying hypocrisy.
and also, as mentioned upthread, their locality.
To make a blanket claim that people think things are worse than they are is 87.45% wrong.
aka an increasing increase? Nice.
If you're gonna blithely dismiss the work of the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London we're gonna need a tighter deconstruction than that.
Reading the article, what strikes me is not just the idea that people are wrong, but just how wrong they are. And about issues that are generally considered to be quite important and politically sensitive to lots of people.
* Job-seekers allowance: 29% of people think we spend more on JSA than pensions, when in fact we spend 15 times more on pensions (£4.9bn vs £74.2bn).
* Benefit fraud: people estimate that 34 times more benefit money is claimed fraudulently than official estimates: the public think that £24 out of every £100 spent on benefits is claimed fraudulently, compared with official estimates of £0.70 per £100.
* Benefit bill: people are most likely to think that capping benefits at £26,000 per household will save most money from a list provided (33% pick this option), over twice the level that select raising the pension age to 66 for both men and women or stopping child benefit when someone in the household earns £50k+. In fact, capping household benefits is estimated to save £290m, compared with £5bn for raising the pension age and £1.7bn for stopping child benefit for wealthier households.
Now, fair enough, you don't need to take yet another survey at face value if you can't be arsed to look into it further (and i'd be a little surprised if ANYONE on this website will actually read the study), but to simply dismiss it with -ha! what a flawed study-, or -this poll is all but worthless- is pretty silly.
I think this study is potentially valuable (I retracted my initial statement soon after posting because I worded it too emphatically) in highlighting where the disparity is between popular opinion and the political reality in a policy context. Very valuable. I know how this `sort of thing works`. I know that politicians use societal prejudices to present policies to the public, and that can be very damaging.
My problem lies largely with the analysis of the study from the Independent, my friends on facebook and people on here - a largescale scrambling around to highlight people's ever-growing ignorance, prejudices and idiocies whilst being blithely unaware of their own (and even suggesting some bold and un-backed-up things about the profound influence of individual people like Murdoch and Thatcher on the whole shebang).
I hate the headline of the Independent piece because it appears to come from an elite rubbishing position: `British Public Wrong About Nearly Everything`. Terrible journalism. Most people are wrong about most things, because they (like everyone else) don't have the requisite information to hand to make balanced judgements. The initial study, however, makes an important point about how wide the disparity between perception and reality can be though. Apologies for my emphatic language leading to me suggesting otherwise.
are used as symbols of broader issue. They obviously didn't, in person, single-handedly- persuade millions of people to do or think anything specific. But to be at pains to spend too much time complaining about the complainers* is to lose sight of the issue somewhat.
And I'm not losing sight of the `issue` in the slightest, thank you. If, like DanielKelly perfectly adequately said upthread, you think that decrying hypocrisy (sic) doesn't have much value then that's totally fair enough mind.
are shorthand for the broader movements they are representative of. Surely that's petty easy to see.
You, Jordan_229_2, oojimaflop and a couple of others often make a good go at tempering the tone of debate on here. Which is all well and good. But there are times when an attack on an attack comes across more like a(n unintentional?*) defence.
*being as polite as I can here, rather than just dismissing stuff as being Tory apologia.
Fair enough. Happy to stop engaging with you on the subject if you're going to get the Tory apologist rhetoric out, which is an absolute nonsense. And as for the `defence` rhetoric, I'm not sure what it is I'm being defensive about.
weird, weird post.
Although, headline aside (which i thought was actually made up by s_p_g for this thread, but will presumably have come from a sub-editor? And might be a bit tongue in cheek?) the article seems alright doesn't it? Call for greater responsibility from politicians and media and a more statistically literate public?
Sometimes feels like everyone's flailing about in an information overload these days.
The article is damned by the context the paper chose to set, which is influenced by the way that people have chosen to distribute/share it (which, a cynic might suggest, is their intention anyway).
in the same manner as the Nick & Margaret thing from a couple days ago, i guess.
Chris Edwards • 6 minutes ago ?
Is crime really decreasing or just the Police not recording crimes that they don´t follow up on,when even a `judge´describes a burglar as `brave´ then you wonder just who is regarded as a criminal or what is a crime nowadays?
No Chris, you're wrong. READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE, YOU CRETIN.
I mean that could be IET, to be fair.
as a tear rolls down their cheek.
having a little cry about people having a little cry that no one wants to buy/listen to the Guardian.
I'm having a little cry about purple having a little cry about people having a little cry that no one wants to buy/listen to the Guardian.
too much immigration round these 'ere parts.
i'm having a wank along to it but each to their own.
people are dicks, all of them
you'd set them on fire?
probably because I was already aware of quite a few of the other misconceptions, but also because the actual figure presented defies all logic - in of an average GCSE class you'd expect pretty much everyone to have a kid by 16 based on the mean. Can't help but think quite a few people surveyed picked a figure out of the air there, particularly the 7% of those picking a figure over 40%.
because a number of people aren't, well, that good with numbers. In that they're not able to visualise what a percentage means.
I mean 10% doesn't `seem` like a lot. But when you think about it as 3 16 year olds in every GCSE class being pregnant, the figure then `seems` a lot larger.
Same thing with immigrants. We know that there are `millions` of immigrants in the UK. Seems like a big figure when expressed like that, so maybe it influences people into thinking it's a higher %. I don't know.
I forget how statistically illiterate this country can be at times.
What's far more of an issue, and it's probably covered in a thread further up, is how easy such misconceptions make it to base policy on prejudice rather than evidence. Sad to say that I wouldn't expect any government to do much to work towards resolving that in the near future.
regardless of a nation's politics, I imagine it's extremely rare for people to have an accurate handle on crime levels etc, just because it's inevitable that the press of any leaning reports on crimes.
I think the only figure to really worry about of these ones is the fact that the government/press have been successful in demonising benefits claimants, which is sad and worrying.
But honestly, all the people gibbering on about '1983' up there are talking utter bollocks, the idea the British were a uniformly kind and tolerant people prior to that is simply not true, we're far more open minded about race and sexuality than we were 30 years ago.
Nobody up there is arguing about minority tolerance at all.
I assume that people had a generally more tolerant view of the benefits system in 1983, insofar as even Tories thought Thatcher's reforms were going too far and the 'benefits cheat' feels like a sort of modern bogeyman, but beyond that I seriously doubt these attitudes would have been even slightly different in 1983.
the attitudes may have been the same, but the distortion from reality was likely not.
the question is why when society is getting far less violent, for example, are most people convinced it's going the other way? and the answer is the media and the politicians, why they're doing it is a much more interesting question. if you don't think it's a problem that hysteria has become a national characteristic and one with little relation to reality then fair enough. but enjoy the governments you'll be getting.
or is it just mild pessimism fuelled by the fact that the very nature of news reportage? Saying I'm not being hysterical enough about the fact that people are hysterical sounds a bit, you know, hysterical...
I'm not willing to say that the nation has become more hysterical, given how wrong we seem to be about things. Maybe we simply can't easily bring to mind previous examples of hysteria...
and the Independent should be ashamed of themselves
...the point I and others have been making is that statistically erroneous opinions are inspired by the absolutely atrocious lifestyle marketing pitches, sorry, news agendas people are exposed to on a daily basis
I am not surprised they think we are swimming in crime and immigrants. Even when confronted with the facts on say the crime rate falling, many will insist it is actually rising and it is all a huge police conspiracy to fiddle the stats.
"The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right."
probably depends on what you define as democracy i guess
The non-state-controlled media available to them are legion. It's probably the best time in human history for democracy to function properly.
I can choose to close my eyes and ears as I walk down the street so as not to receive deceptive messages I would rather not receive - bit risky though
They're fucking stupid.
Plus you can take a little quiz and get 10/10, like me, here:
Unless I specifically remembered the stat (ie violent crime decrease was in the news recently) I assumed the answer would be probably less than most would think and that saw me through quite well.
so great :D